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Monday, January 21, 2008

myspace music monday: Hanne Kolstö

It's always a hassle trying to find a good artist to post for myspace music monday. Generally speaking, I don't browse artists in the United States for two reasons: 1, they suck, and 2, they sound like every other crappy American band. So on today's stroll through the not-so-wonderful world of myspace, I came across a fairly unique and talented artist from Norway. Her name is Hanne Kolstö.

Hanne Kolstö

Now the strange thing about this week's artist is that she's not really a solo artist as much as she is a singer that does a lot of work with different bands and groups. She does, however, have her own myspace page, and this is how I came across her. So what I'll do here is direct you to her best songs, across several pages, and hopefully you'll find something to enjoy. I know I have!

The first song you should definitely check out is a song called, "A Long Way," on her own myspage page. The song begins very softly. Hanne's voice is strong, very commanding, but at the same time smooth and chilling. She sings, "He walks a mile to see her smile, to wake up with her by his side," over what sounds like an accordian or harmonium. By the time the first chorus is over, more instrumentation has seeped it's way into the song. Looming synths, and electronic flutters blend perfectly with a deep, thudding bass and techno strings. Horns swell gently in the background before leading a soothing interlude. It is an absolutely stunning song! I'm so disappointed that I can't download it, because it really is beautiful in several ways.

Song two is from her work with an electronic group called POST. It's called "LINK." Here she alternates between singing in a slightly jazzy tone and a straightforward, uninteresting voice. Her voice works well with the production of the song, though there are one or two moments where she seems to overpower everything else going on. I guess that's just to be expected though with a voice like hers. The song's coda is pretty forgettable. It's as if the group couldn't find a decent way to end the song, so they just started making a bunch of noise for a few minutes. Pretty poor.

"Broken" is another POST song, but this time the electronics are much more minimal. Hanne's voice is absolutely charming here, singing, "One day I'll be broken. Hope you can fix me." There are very slight synth bells working behind everything else, and it makes a delicate, but gorgeous sound. The bridge rolls around with a distorted synth lead, and for a while I was worried that they'd once again venture into noise-pop territory. Fortunately, they restrain themselves and the song never runs away with energy or poppiness. The fact that this is actually a live track is nothing short of amazing! It sounds perfect!

The final song you should listen to is called "Let You," and it's really very cool sounding. It's from a demo she recorded with another group named Love:Fi. Hanne's voice hovers somewhere in between Shara Worden and Bjork over very airy and raw instrumentation. The electronic instrumentation, once again is very subtle, yet cool, and utterly flawless. By the end of the song she's finally broken out of her shell, singing triumphantly over a raw electric guitar and pounding drums. Surprisingly, her voice is just as good here as it is anywhere else and it really displays her range as a vocalist. Hear for yourself.

I am 100%, absolutely blown away by Hanne's talent as a vocalist. Though the groups she associates with are sometimes a little less than complimentary, they are far from terrible and still above mediocre. Of all the artists I've yet to cover on myspace music monday, Hanne Kolstö is the best I've yet to hear! I really do hope that I hear her voice somewhere down the road and recognize it immediately. Surely, I wouldn't be surprised if something like that happened. She's that cool, that unique!

Hanne's myspace Page
Love:Fi's myspace Page
POST's myspace Page
Shogun's myspace Page (More traditional rock music...also very cool)

As always, if you have an artist in mind for myspace music monday, leave me a comment below and I'll check them out.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Can I recommend Har Mar Superstar? I know you mentioned him in the review, but I think that you should devote a Monday to him. He's definitely interesting enough. BTW, ask my about Rogue Wave later...